Previous law held that a non-parent did not have standing to seek custody or visitation of a child. This often came up in the context of grandparents who wanted to seek visitation or custody of their grandchildren, but more recently this law came to be an issue in same-sex partner relationships where they had children together. This meant that if one of the partners was not biologically related, nor related by marriage as was the norm until the Supreme Court allowed same-sex marriage, they would have no rights to the child upon separation from the partner. Now the New York Court of Appeals has ruled that if the partners intended, prior to conception of the child, to co-parent the child and each be in the child's life, the non-biological or non-adoptive parent of the child does have rights as a "parent" to seek custody and visitation upon separation from the partner. While this will only affect New York citizens for the time being, it is a logical change in the law that will likely be accepted in other jurisdictions.
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